This article rounds up the first term of toddler swimming lessons. In the New Year we will cover the second term. Apologies for our tardiness, we have had a rough time of it lately so haven't updated the site as often as we would have hoped.
We usually post these articles the same day we have the lesson. Unfortunately the last few have gone up much later than we had hoped. Clare was pregnant with our second child when her waters broke prematurely at just 32 weeks. She managed to hold onto him for a little while longer and our son was born 11 days ago, healthy but premature. We visited him a few times a day in the special care unit but the whole family fell ill last week. We couldn't visit him until we were all better in case we took the bug with us. The good news is that he came home yesterday and is doing great.
I've been both Mum and Dad for a few weeks. Juggling that with running the family business and at least 2 hospital visits per day. It was a privilege to look after Amélie on my own. She made it very easy on me, but I can't tell you how relieved I am to have Clare and our new son Caleb home at last. I was lucky enough to be at the birth as my Dad took care of Amélie while we were both in hospital. Enough about our trials and tribulations though, and onto the swimming!
Lesson 9 and 10 are in one article because unlike the baby swimming lessons and articles, each lesson is very similar. The top picture is a surface swim through a hula hoop which we do almost every lesson. The next image is of Amélie jumping in from the side of the pool (with some help from the instructor). We learned this a few lessons ago (remember, toes on the edge?) and have done it in every lesson since. Today we did it 3 times, the last 2 times is was immediately followed by a 'hold on'. This emulates the child falling into the pool, swimming to the side, and holding on.
We haven't learned a lot of new techniques this term. It's been more of a case of putting some of the simpler routines together into longer routines. About half way through this morning's lesson there was a good example of this.
We were to do a '1,2,3 surface swim' from parent to instructor. As soon as the instructor collected the child at the end of the surface swim, they took them for a little swim in a circle until they were facing the parent again. The parent was to say 'name, ... ready, ... go' and then sit on the floor of the pool (wearing goggles) as the instructor set the toddler going in an underwater swim to the parent. As soon as the parent and toddler had come up to the surface for air, the parent and toddler were to do half a width in side holding swim position, turn swim back towards the side again, but just before they reached the side the parent was to say 'name, ... ready, ... go', and submerge the toddler for a short underwater swim followed by a reaching hold on.
I was glad I wasn't first as I doubt I would have remembered the whole routine. The instructor said we were trying to build up the distance of the swims and we were certainly doing that. In both lesson 9 and 10 we did the routine where you 'glide swim' to retrieve a submerged sinking toy, swim to the side with it, and turn around for an 'holiday swim' back. In lesson 10 we also did a full length of 'holiday swim' with a small section of that done underwater.
Near the end of every lesson we get the float out for wibble wobble (legs facing out) and row row row your boat (legs facing in). This is always followed by run run run, the picture captured the moment Amélie finished one of her run run run's. At the very end of the lesson the instructor made 2 bridges out of woggles and we did back to chest back floating under the bridges. It's a very calm way to finish the lesson.
Then I had to get us both changed back into our clothes. Not so tough in the Summer, but in the winter it's no picnic. I'm dripping wet and freezing cold in the disabled toilets (no changing facilities for men) trying to get Amélie dry, nappy on, and multiple layers of clothing on. The worst thing is her woolen tights and her shoes. I then endeavour to dry and dress myself while keeping her away from puddles of water and preventing her from touching the disabled toilet which she is fascinated with.
I'm really ready for a break now. In January we will be continuing the lessons and articles, and no doubt our new baby Caleb will be starting baby swimming lessons. Amélie started at 6 weeks old but I think we will leave Caleb a couple of weeks longer as he was premature.